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The Latest News

Click on each section below to reveal the information.

SECTION 1: Media Kit, Press Releases and Additional Resources
SECTION 2: News and Editorial Coverage

What is a Little Free Library?

First, Little Free Library is the name of a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that inspires a love of reading, builds community, and sparks creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around the world.

The organization helps people around the world start and maintain free “take a book, return a book” book exchanges called Little Free Libraries.  Most Little Free Libraries are placed in front yards, parks, gardens and easily accessible locations. The Libraries are built to withstand weather of all kinds and hold 20-100 books. Some Libraries are located in coffee shops, in or near restaurants and community centers.

Originally designed to look like a one-room school or a “house of books,” the Libraries rapidly took on a wide variety of sizes, shapes, themes and other attributes. There is no standard size and shape. Although many businesses and apartments may have had “take a book, leave a book” shelves for years, the idea of a network of unique structure with stewards, signage and social support began in 2010.

To be officially called a Little Free Library, a free book exchange must be registered with an official charter sign and charter number.

How many Little Free Libraries are there?
As of August 2018, there are more than 75,000 registered Little Free Libraries in all 50 states and 88 countries. Please see our map for more information!

The Organization:
Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization that inspires a love of reading, builds community, and sparks creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around the world.

The Little Free Library movement:
People worldwide have embraced the idea of Little Free Libraries and in our Hudson, WI headquarters, we’re working to strengthen and support them with effective communication channels, programs, events, and partnerships that build on our mission.

How to Describe Little Free Library:
The correct legal name is three words– Little Free Library. To distinguish between Little Free Libraries and public libraries in generic sense, most writers capitalize the proper name. Only registered Little Free Library book exchanges may use the title Little Free Library; if a book exchange is not registered, it is simply called a book exchange. It is permissible to use the term Little Libraries or just Libraries when referring to any registered “Take a book, Return a book” Libraries.

What is Your Stance on Little Free Libraries Being Banned?
From time to time we see media articles about towns trying to ban Little Free Libraries. These articles are for the most part much ado about nothing. In the history of Little Free Library there have been thousands of Libraries successfully installed around the world without an issue.

Every city that has taken time to scrutinize their zoning laws in regards to a Library has come out in total support of this literacy effort. There have been a few Libraries that have been relocated to better locations, but they were not shut down.

SECTION 3: Little Free Library Logos, Trademarks and Service Marks

Little Free Library and/or its affiliates claim(s) statutory and/or common law rights in and to the following trademarks and service marks: Little Free Library and its common variations.

Use this form to request permission to use our logo and marks.
Please read our Terms and Conditions before downloading and using our logo and marks.

SECTION 4: Little Free Library Photos

The following photos may be used for third party articles about Little Free Library (click the link to view each photo):

Library #6315, Traverse City, Michigan

Library #6247, Tegucigalpa, Honduras

Library #2621, Mountlake Terrace, Washington

Libraries #7331 and #7332, Rivne, Ukraine

Library #10883, Mount Martha, Victoria, Australia

Library #6357, Sandy Springs, Georgia

Library #31486, Azusa, California

Other popular photo sources include Instagram, Pinterest, Flickr, Google Images (thousands of Little Free Library-related photos, often duplicates or unrelated, with links to their source but few details), local Little Free Library Facebook pages, and blogs. To use photos from these sources, contact the original copyright holder for permission.

SECTION 5: Tips and Story Angles

The “Old News”

Thousands of stories have been published and broadcast about Little Free Libraries around the world. The most popular phrases and descriptions in those stories were:

  • Libraries are “popping up” everywhere
  • They look like birdhouses.
  • They don’t require library cards or late fines, don’t insist that patrons whisper or stay quiet, and don’t mind if you do not return a book.
  • The two people most responsible for Little Free Libraries are Todd Bol (creator and executive director) and Rick Brooks (retired, 2014). Yes…and no. Yes, Todd Bol of Hudson, Wisconsin built what would eventually be called the first “Little Free Library” as a memorial tribute to his mother in 2009. Rick Brooks of Madison, Wisconsin and he put together the ideas and strategies that led to other Little Free Libraries being installed in Minneapolis, Madison and other communities. But many of the people most responsible for the success of this movement are the “early adopters” of the idea who purchased Libraries made by Bol and others for their front yards.They became the stewards of the tangible and intangible parts of the Little Free Library mission: to promote a sense of community, reading for children, literacy for adults and libraries around the world. Stewards often build the Libraries that serve their communities. They fill them with books, protect and promote them, and come up with new ways to share the goodwill generated by these neighborhood book exchanges.

The most often quoted benefits of Little Free Libraries

  • People meet more neighbors and passers-by than they have in years.
  • They often spend time getting to know people as well as books.
  • They value the free-wheeling exchange of books, especially because they are often surprised by the variety and quality of the collections.
  • They like giving as much as—or perhaps even more than—taking books. Little Free Libraries are likely to have a positive influence on community quality of life and social capital.
  • Small, local business owners report that Little Free Libraries help them attract and keep customers.
  • Realtors have said that Libraries (big and small) have influenced potential home buyers to decide to settle on one neighborhood rather than another.
  • The vast majority of public and school librarians fully support the concept and role of Little Free Libraries as outreach and inreach tools for library success.
  • Children, youth and adults of all ages and backgrounds can share in the give and take. People of widely diverse socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds participate in this grassroots effort.

New aspects of the Little Free Library movement

  • Designers, craftsmen and women, architects and artists are creating a new American folk craft by building Little Free Libraries.
  • Little Libraries are becoming destinations…for bike and walking tours, family automobile tours of small towns, and geocachers.
  • The Libraries function as educational and outreach tools for civic engagement, social and environmental issues.
  • They also serve as unique channels through which publishers and authors can distribute their books.
  • Local and national organizations and corporations increasingly see Little Free Libraries as good investments to demonstrate corporate social responsibility and do their part for their constituents, neighbors and customers.

Interesting story angles
We can often provide photos, contacts or background on the following:

  • The creativity, generosity and commitment of the people who support Little Free Libraries.
  • Schools – curriculum, service and media projects to nurture the reading habit and serve their communities. English, arts, geography, science and vocational classes have used Little Free Libraries to engage students. High school vocational classes are beginning to build Little Libraries as part of their curriculum.
  • Public Libraries—Large metropolitan library systems as well as state and national associations have endorsed Little Free Libraries as effective outreach strategies. They often hold “building days,” tours and book sales to support their smaller counterparts in neighborhoods and rural communities.
  • Architects, Designers and Craftspeople—Readers and non-readers alike play vital roles, often constructing the tangible evidence that Little Free Libraries are meant for everyone. Do It Yourself carpenters and volunteers create Little Free Libraries in their garages and basement workshops. Professional woodworkers have created stunningly sophisticated Little Libraries in forms never imagined by the movement’s founders.
  • History—Each year more and more historical sites seem to acquire Little Free Libraries to help promote the people, places and things that shaped the way people see themselves today.
  • Literacy
    • Health—Hospitals, managed care organizations, medical schools and health clinics have begun to see Little Free Libraries as tools to reach new audiences with something more than brochures. Groups like Reach Out and Read and health literacy coalitions now seek out Little Free Library–related expertise.
    • Financial—Credit unions, banks, financial counselors and youth organizations have approached Little Free Library for help providing effective money management education.
  • Early Childhood Development—For parents, children and child care workers, Little Libraries offer easy access to both books and expertise. Collaborations with groups like Reach Out and Read and pre-school groups put books in children’s hands.

For press inquiries please Contact Us.

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